A boil-up of tender Dungeness crab legs, baby potatoes and juicy corn on the cob is the ultimate shared dining experience – especially if you’re cooking it in a great big pot of seawater over a beach campfire. What sets this one apart is the savoury-sweet stone fruit butter that gets tossed in right before serving. This butter is delicious on just about any barbecued seafood, or even grilled tofu or seasonal vegetables, giving each bite the sweet taste of summer. –Ned Bell
Coastal Dungeness Crab Boil
Stone Fruit Butter
- ½ cup chopped fresh stone fruit such as peaches, apricots or plums
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp roasted garlic see note #1
- 1½ tsp smoked paprika
- zest and juice of ½ lime or lemon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2-3 lbs live Dungeness crabs see note #2
- sea salt
- 2 lb baby yellow or red potatoes unpeeled
- 6 ears of fresh corn halved crosswise
- ½ peach, apricot or plum sliced
- ¼ cup Stone Fruit Butter
- crusty bread
- green salad to serve
Stone Fruit Butter
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or food processor and mix or process until well blended.
- Scrape the butter onto a piece of plastic wrap and then shape and roll it into a 2-inch-thick log. Refrigerate until needed. (Can be stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.)
- Carefully place the crabs head first into the boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, cook for 15 minutes (or 20 minutes for 3-pound crabs).
- Bring the water back to a boil and add the potatoes. Boil until tender, about 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Return the crab to the water just to heat through, about 3 minutes. Drain and cut each crab into quarters. Return the corn and potatoes to the empty (but still warm) pot, add the peach (or apricot or plum) slices and stone fruit butter. Toss the pot or gently stir, allowing the butter to melt and coat everything.
- Arrange the crab, corn and potatoes on the serving platter. Add some more dollops of butter. Provide mallets, crab picks and bowls for the shells. Serve with crusty bread, a salad and your favourite ice-cold craft beer.